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Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

Recipe: Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Yogurt Lemon Dressing

Been a while since I’ve posted here. Figure I should get back to it with a brand new recipe. This was exactly what I wanted and I think you’ll dig it.

Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Yogurt Lemon Dressing

I’m writing this how I will make it next time, not how I made it this time. I was in a rush and skipped some steps.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken Breast, cooked and diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Avocado (optional)

Dressing

  • 1 cup plain yogurt. Greek works too
  • 2 cloves of garlic, but go nuts here if you want
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste, figure about 2tsp of each
  • 1tbls Olive Oil

For the dressing, assemble everything and mix well. If you can give this an hour in the fridge, that would be ideal. Seriously, I really like garlic, so I used 4 cloves because I’m crazy like that. You can adjust this to your liking.

For the chicken breast, cook this using your preferred method. I oven roasted tonight and for this application it works perfectly. But grilled would be equally amazing!

Another trick that I have recently learned is to pre-salt the tomatoes and drain them after about 15 minutes. Takes away some of the bitter and leaves less liquid in the salad.

Putting it all together
Mix up your veggies and your chicken. Toss that with about 2tbls of the dressing and top with sliced avodado to make it look fancy. A few grinds from the pepper mill wouldn’t hurt either.

Simple and quick and oh man this was good! If you make this, be sure to come back and let us know how it turned out!

Recipe Review: Cabbage Salsa

I have another recipe showing up soon, but today, you get this gem. Actually requested, it’s made with cabbage, vinegar and it’s boiled. Yea, I was equally skeptical until I tried it, which is why I’m writing up now. This one is from The Great Salsa Book and was shared with me. Which also means that now I’m going to have to have this book.

As seen above, served this with some thick cut pork chops and it was great. Equally good with a chip or a spoon! You will want to try this one.

Cabbage Salsa

Ingredients

  • Unseasoned Rick Wine Vinegar – 1 12oz bottle
  • 1c Water
  • 4 Serrano Chilies, sliced (leave the seeds you sissy). If they are big, you only need 2 unless you like it spicy!
  • 3tbls sugar
  • 1/2tsp Salt – I did 2 good pinches of Kosher salt here, about 1tbls
  • 1 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, mincend
  • 1 head of white cabbage, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

Stick with me here. Your whole house is going to smell like an ass factory, but the end result is really worth it. A quick note about the Serranos; handle these little guys with gloves, cut them first, put them into a bowl by themselves and then clean everything really well, unless you want everything that you cut with the knife and board for a week to be spicy!

Preparation
Into a large sauce pan, add the vinegar, water, serranos, sugar and salt. Bring this to a boil and reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat.

Strain the mixture and save the liquid. Move into a bowl to cool and add back 2tbls of the reserved liquid. Don’t ice bath this! You can cool it quickly in the freezer in about 15-20 minutes.

Add the remain ingredients, stir to combine.

This benefits from a solid hour in the fridge to get cool and for the flavors to mingle, if not longer.

Vinegar, while making your house smell horrible, really knocks the bitter out of the cabbage. Instead of a salsa that tastes like cabbage, you get a salsa that is very hearty, slightly sweet, spicy and delicious! I will be making another batch of this for my Super Bowl festivities for sure!

Too Busy Being Awesome

A question posed to me this week by one of the White Roof Radio boys had me thinking, and researching. And, well, I’ll just come out and say it.

Holy Crap

I have been posting words to the internet, in some fashion of a blog or another, since about 2001. I can’t verify that however, so I have to dig through the archives. did you guys know that dbmini.us went ‘live’ on or about 9/24/_2002? That is the date of the first post. It might have been at blogger, but it’s there, so it counts.

WRR went live on August 1st, 2005. The show started a few months before that, on June 30th, 2005, which means I have been podcasting for 12.5 years. Let’s go back to the title question for a bit and have a proper, very long time in coming, rant.


Podcasting, at it’s core, is very incestuous. I’m on a few of the groups on Facebook and have listened to a few of the podcasts about podcasting, and they are nothing more than circle jerks of people telling each other lies about how big their shows are, and how many millions of downloads they have gotten. Each one of them, of course, is also an expert in podcasting, blogging and social media, as you would expect.

I guess my ego isn’t big enough.

Easy there kids. My ego is plenty big, trust me. And, as you probably know, I do have a bit of diva in me. I’m not trying to kid anyone. I just don’t think my ego is that big. I have a hard time showing off my work (not to you guys, but to strangers) and flaunting to a group of people that I can only imagine do not give a shit. These are the people that are popular. The yellers, the screamers, the ‘look-at-me’-ers. They are the ones with the shows that have triple digit downloads getting nominated for awards and crap like that.

That’s just not me.

Another thing that those people are really good at is burning cycles. Checking stats like it’s the end of times, constantly fussing with their website, trying to figure out why they aren’t getting any traffic from Facebook, and checking stats. A few of them can actually keep this up for more than a month before they burn out and stop making their show. Which is usually ok since their shows aren’t that great anyway. Oh, c’mon now, you know I’m right.

The thing that I learned, a very long time ago, is that all of that is crap. The trick is to focus those cycles on things that matter. The thing that matters is making a show. Fine tuning the show to something that is awesome, made with awesome people and listened to by people who have become fans because it’s awesome.

Why are we not more popular? To the contrary my dear Watson, I would argue that we are very popular. I would guess that there are very few MINI Cooper owners in the United States and Canada that have not heard about WRR. Do you know how many MINI Coopers there are in the United States and Canada?

Why are not getting awards and recoginition for being podcasting pioneers and producing a show for almost 13 years? That’s easy, it’s because we are too busy being awesome.

New Year, New Theme

I just spent the last month and change doing what I used to do with some frequency, and that is creating a new WordPress theme. The rust layer over those skills was not as thick as I expected, which worked out very well. “New theme” I say? Yes! You are soaking in it!

It is very basic. Very simple. You might also say that it is boring. That is the way I wanted it.

I’ve been using off-the-shelf themes for a while. While they are all pretty nice, they are also very bloated and overly complex for my use. I need to display words and audio players and images. I don’t need a bunch of gizmos or post types or a zillion widgets. I need something reliable and fast. That is something I wasn’t finding with the pre-built themes.

Who among us has visited one of my sites only to discover it won’t load due to the dreaded 500 error? That was because of those themes and how they interacted with one of the most popular and actively used plug-ins; Jetpack. I got tired of removing/replacing that plugin. They also had issues with caching plugins. It’s been making me crazy.

Technically, I didn’t build this entirely from scratch. I used a very nice theme generator to do the buik of the heavy lifting. From there, I nipped and tucked and tweaked and will continue to do so until it’s where I want it to be.

I’ll be using this theme for all of my sites. Besides here, it is already running at Ride Bikes Radio. I’ll be rolling it out to the rest of the sites, including a few new ones, over the next week or 2.

Hopefully this will return the reliability to my sites, which will make me not dread opening them, which will make me write more. All wins in my book.

Recipe: Chili Lime Chicken with Fried Brussel Sprouts

Came up with something, recipe-wise, that turned out good enough to write it up! Check the pic above. I'm calling this Chili Lime Chicken with Fried Brussel Sprouts.

Yes, that's right, I said brussel sprouts. And yes, you are going to eat them. And no, your house won't smell like an ass factory when you are done. Super simple, at least for this application. Here is what you neeed to do.

  1. Shred about 1lb of brussel sprouts. Use a knife if you have the skills, otherwise use your box grater or a finger removing machine. Put these into a bowl that can handle boiling water.
  2. Get your kettle going until the water is boiling or boil water on the stove. You are going to need enough to cover the b sprouts.
  3. Salt and pepper the sprouts, cover with the boiling water.

Let those dudes steep in that water for about 10 minutes. Don't stir them, don't shake them, just let 'em have that hot bath. Strain them, but leave them in the collander/strainer until needed to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

The rest of the recipe is simple. Quick note on the chicken. I'm a giant cheapskate, so I get whatever is on sale or cheapest at the store. For this application, I got chicken breasts with tenders and rib bones attaches. Do this and you can usually get 4 giant breast for about five bucks. Sure, it's extra work, but worth it.

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced. (about a pound of meat)
  • The brussels from above
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 zuchinni, diced
  • 1 tbls lime juice
  • 1 tbls chili powder
  • 1 tbls soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Light sesame oil or vegetable oil, about 1/2 cup

Add the lime juice, chili powder, soy sauce, salt and pepper to your chicken, toss to coat. If you can give this an hour, awesome. If you can't, that's ok too. Smart folks do this in a zip top bag.

Get a pan hot and add a some oil. To that, add your onions and cook them hot and fast until they get some color to them but are not burned. Add your chicken and cook until done. Add more oil if needed. Remove that from the pan and add your zuchinni and cook until done, adding salt and pepper to taste, more oil if needed. Add that to the chicken, add enough oil to the same pan to cover the bottom and add your brussels. Cook those until they get color on them. This will take a while since the water will have to cook off first.

Serve in a bowl, brussels on the bottom, chicken mix on top. The oil left over is really good as a sauce, so don't ditch it! You can go crazy and add some red pepper flake to this too.

Start to finish this took me 1/2 hour and cost about three dollars.

Remember gang, the drive through is a lie.